Empowering Students with Disabilities
At DWU, our goal is to empower students with disabilities to get the education and skills you will need for a fulfilling, productive career after completing college.
We work hard to make sure that students with disabilities have equal access and full participation in postsecondary education as outlined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973:
No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Our office of disability and equal access services is located in the McGovern Library. You can learn more about how we support students with disabilities academically, your rights and responsibilities and more in our Student Support section.
How Do I Request Services?
If you need services that fall under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, contact us. We will set up an appointment with you to talk about the documents you’ll need to conduct a needs assessment.
Please note that we can only provide you services from the time you contact us, which means that they are not retroactive. If you need to receive services, you will need to notify us and make the request.
What is Considered a Disability?
We use the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a guide to define disability: a condition that substantially limits a major life activity (such as walking, talking, learning, hearing and/or seeing). Services will be provided to students with physical, psychiatric, and/or learning disabilities, chronic health conditions, mobility, visual, speech and coordination impairments.
If you have a temporary condition such as a broken arm, sprained ankle, etc., you are also eligible for temporary services as needed.
What Type of Documentation is Required?
Documentation of a disability is necessary to initiate and receive services through the office of disability services and equal access. If you don’t have the proper documentation to support your requests for accommodation, you will need to get the documentation (test, diagnosis, etc.) at your own expense. Typically, high school 504 Plans or Individualized Education Plan (IEP) are not sufficient documentation for the provision of accommodations.
High school juniors and seniors should know that elementary and high schools are required to retest students for disabilities every three years, and that when a student nears graduation, the school is required to develop a transition plan to help prepare the student for life after high school.
If this applies to you, you should take advantage of this transition plan and get new testing if necessary. Other students may need a letter from a physician, psychologist or psychiatrist to document a specific physical or mental limitation.